When I was growing up in the 50s, we scoffed at products that were ‘Made in Japan’.
They were seen as massed produced, poor quality copies of quality goods made in the UK, Europe or the US.
Over the last 50 years that has all changed.
Japan’s manufacturing industries developed the intellectual and engineering skills to become world leaders in automotive, computers and consumer electronics.
Their companies now compete on every level with the products they originally copied.
Japan is home to six of the top ten largest vehicle manufacturers. In fact the top selling luxury car in the US, is Lexus.
With a population of over 1.3 billion people and an ever increasing middle class, the growth of Chinese manufacturing has been fueled by internal consumption.
Owning a car, TV or mobile phone has been a priority. The quality of these new possessions hasn’t been that important.
Now internal consumption in China has slowed and manufacturers are looking abroad to expand their markets. They will soon realise that quality is just as important as price to these new overseas consumers.
Many Apple products are ‘Designed in California’ but ‘Made in China’ so it won’t be that long before the Chinese learn how to design as well as make desirable consumer products.
Once that happens we may be soon proudly driving our new ‘Made in China’ luxury car.